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Publication numberUS7328281 B2
Publication typeGrant
Application numberUS 10/330,306
Publication dateFeb 5, 2008
Filing dateDec 30, 2002
Priority dateMay 30, 2002
Fee statusPaid
Also published asUS7941563, US20030225912, US20080114898
Publication number10330306, 330306, US 7328281 B2, US 7328281B2, US-B2-7328281, US7328281 B2, US7328281B2
InventorsYukiko Takeda, Takehiro Morishige, Hidenori Inouchi, Koji Tanaka
Original AssigneeHitachi, Ltd.
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Address translation equipment, terminal equipment and mobile communication method
US 7328281 B2
Abstract
A packet sent in a mobile IP communication between different regions passes through a particular address translation unit, so that the communication route cannot be optimized. The packet cannot be delivered to a mobile node not having a fixed home address. To overcome the difficulties, the address translation unit includes a function to process the mobile IPv6 protocol. The mobile node includes a function to dynamically acquire a home address. A first network and a second network each identify the mobile node by a SIP (session initiation protocol) identifier. The mobile node acquires a home address on the second network and registers a corresponding relation between the identifiers and the home address thereof. A terminal on the second network acquires the home address of the mobile node from information of the mobile node registered to the SIP server according to a SIP procedure.
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Claims(10)
1. An address translator to connect a first network conforming to a first protocol, a second network conforming to a second protocol, and a mobile terminal in the first network, the mobile terminal having a visited network address used in a visited network and a home network address used in a home network, the address translator comprising:
a storage unit for storing information of a correspondence between a visited network address of the mobile terminal conforming to the first protocol and a home network address of the mobile terminal conforming to the first protocol, and translation information between the home network address of the mobile terminal conforming to the first protocol and a home network address of the mobile terminal conforming to the second protocol,
wherein the home network address of the mobile terminal conforming to the first protocol is assigned to the home network address of the mobile terminal conforming to the second protocol and a correspondence between the assigned home network address of the mobile terminal conforming to the first protocol and the home network address of the mobile terminal conforming to the second protocol is registered as the translation information when the home network address of the mobile terminal included in a response to a request for connecting to the mobile terminal from another terminal passing through the address translator is an address conforming to the first protocol;
a processing unit for translating an address in a packet received from another terminal in the second network from the second protocol to the first protocol based on the translation information and determining the visited network address of the mobile terminal that uses the translated address as the home network address conforming to the first protocol; and
a transmission unit for transmitting the received packet with the visited network address as a destination address to the mobile terminal.
2. The address translator according to claim 1, wherein
the processing unit makes the translation information using the information of a correspondence received from the mobile terminal via the transmission unit.
3. The address translator according to claim 1, wherein
the first protocol is IPv6 and
the second protocol is IPv4.
4. The address translator according to claim 1, wherein
the home network address is a home address of Mobile IP and
the visited network address is a care-of address of Mobile T.
5. An address translation system, comprising:
a first terminal, a first SIP server and a first DNS server each connected to a first network conforming to a first protocol;
a second terminal, a second SIP server and a second DNS server each connected to a second network conforming to a second protocol;
a server connected to the first network and the second network; and
an address translator connects to the first network, the second network, and the first terminal, wherein
the first SIP server comprises:
a transmission unit for receiving when the first terminal moves out from a network accommodated by the first SIP server, information of a correspondence between an identifier of the first terminal and a domain name of a network to which the first terminal moves;
a storage unit for storing the information of a correspondence;
a control unit for judging whether the first terminal moves out from the network accommodated by the first SIP server or not when the first SIP server receives a request for connecting to the first terminal from the second terminal via the second SIP server and the server; and
a transmission unit for transmitting the information of a correspondence to the second SIP server via the server, in case the control unit judges the first terminal moves out from the network accommodated by the first SIP server;
the second SIP server comprises:
a transmission unit for receiving the request for connecting to the first terminal from the second terminal, sending a request for solving the destination address of the request for connecting to the first DNS server via the second DNS server, sending the request for connecting destined for the solved destination address to the first SIP server; wherein
upon receiving the information of a correspondence from the first SIP server, the second SIP server sends, to the first DNS server via the second DNS server, the request for solving the destination address with assigning the domain name of the network to which the first terminal moves obtained from the information of a correspondence, and sends again the request for connecting destined for the solved destination address to the first SIP servers,
wherein a home network address of the first terminal conforming to the first protocol is assigned to a home network address of the first terminal conforming to the second protocol and a correspondence between the assigned home network address of the first terminal conforming to the first protocol and the home network address of the first terminal conforming to the second protocol is registered as translation information when the home network address of the first terminal included in a response to a request for connecting to the first terminal from the second terminal passing through the address translator is an address conforming to the first protocol.
6. The address translation system according to claim 5, wherein
the first protocol is IPv6 and
the second protocol is IPv4.
7. The address translation system according to claim 5, wherein
the identifier of the first terminal is an identifier conforming to SIP protocol.
8. The address translation system according to claim 5, wherein
the server is a home agent of the first terminal conforming Mobile IP.
9. A SIP server connected to first and second terminals and another SIP server connected to the second terminal, the first terminal connected to a first network conforming to a first protocol and the second terminal connected to a second network conforming to a second protocol, comprising:
a transmission unit for receiving, from the first terminal, information of a correspondence between an identifier of the first terminal and a domain name of a network to which the first terminal moves when the first terminal moves out from a network accommodated by the SIP server; and
a storage unit for storing the information, wherein the SIP server sends the information of a correspondence to the other SIP server when the SIP server receives a request for connecting to the first terminal from the second terminal via the other SIP server,
wherein an address translator connects to the first network, the second network, and the first terminal, and
wherein a home network address of the first terminal conforming to the first protocol is assigned to a home network address of the first terminal conforming to the second protocol and a correspondence between the assigned home network address of the first terminal conforming to the first protocol and the home network address of the first terminal conforming to the second protocol is registered as translation information when the home network address of the first terminal included in a response to a request for connecting to the first terminal from the second terminal passing through the address translator is an address conforming to the first protocol.
10. The SIP server according to claim 9, wherein
the identifier of the first terminal is an identifier conforming to SIP protocol.
Description
CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION

This application relates to applications U.S. Ser. No. 10/081,535 filed Feb. 25, 2002 and U.S. Ser. No. 10/061,331 filed Feb. 4, 2002 based on the Japanese Patent Applications JP 2001-373520 filed Dec. 7, 2001 and JP 2001-274419 filed Sep. 11, 2001, respectively, and assigned to the present assignee. The disclosures of these applications are incorporated herein by reference.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to a method of providing mobile communication by interconnecting a network conforming to a protocol to a network conforming to the protocol or another protocol.

In recent years, there has been an animated discussion about introduction of an internet protocol (IP) to a mobile communication network. The internet engineering task force (IETF) is making efforts to standardize mobile IPv6. A network of the mobile IPv6 includes a mobile node (MN), a home agent (HA), and a correspondent node (CN).

A unique IP address (home address) is assigned to each mobile node, the IP address being kept unchanged regardless of movement of the mobile node. A link having a prefix equal to a prefix of the home address is called a home link. When the mobile node moves to or visits a link other than the home link, the mobile node obtains an IP address in the visited link. This address is called a care-of address (C/O address).

The home agent maintains a binding cache, i.e., a pair of a home address of a mobile node and a C/O address thereof.

When a mobile node detects a movement, the mobile node sends a control signal (binding update) to the home agent to request update of the binding cache. Having received the control signal (binding update), the home agent multicasts a message (gratuitous neighbor advertisement) to capture or to acquire a packet addressed to a mobile node existing on other than the home link. The home agent serves as a proxy of the mobile node.

The correspondent node (CN) is a node to communicate with the mobile node. According to the mobile IPv6 specifications, since the mobile node sends a mobile IPv6 message to the correspondent node, the correspondent node must also conform to the mobile IPv6.

Description will now be given of a procedure for the correspondent node to transmit a packet to the mobile node.

The correspondent node sends a packet addressed to the mobile node to the home address. The home agent intercepts the packet addressed to the home address. The home agent retrieves the binding cache according to the home address of the mobile node and obtains the C/O address of the mobile node. The home agent adds to the received packet a header to send the packet to the C/O address (encapsulation of the packet). The home agent then transmits the packet to the mobile node.

Having received the packet, the mobile node removes the header beforehand added to the packet (decapsulation of the packet) to restore the original IP packet.

On receiving the packet thus encapsulated, the mobile node retrieves a binding update list of the mobile node using the IP address of the correspondent node. The binding update list includes information of binding update message destinations.

When the binding update list does not include an entry for the correspondent node, the mobile node sends a control signal (Binding Update) to the correspondent node to notify the C/O address of the mobile node.

Having received the binding update message from the mobile node, the correspondent node registers a pair of the home address and the C/O address of the mobile node to the binding cache of the corresponding node. Thereafter, the correspondent node directly sends the packet to the C/O address of the mobile node for route optimization. In the IP header of the packet, the C/O address of the mobile node and the home address thereof are set to a source address field and an IPv6 routing header field, respectively.

On the other hand, with rapid spread of IP networks, the technique to interconnect areas or domains of mutually different address systems to each other becomes more important.

For example, a method (IETF RFC1631) using a network address translator (NAT) is known as a technique to interconnect a network conforming to a private address to a network conforming to a public address.

The network address translator conducts translation between a private IPv4 address and a public IPv4 address. The basic network address translator changes the source or destination address when a datagram passes the translator (NAT) between two areas connected to each other by an NAT router. When an address space of the private network collides with an address space of the public network, a twice NAT technique is often employed to solve the address collision. The twice NAT technique changes the source and destination addresses when a datagram passes the twice network address translator (NAT) between two areas connected to each other by a twice NAT router.

To solve the address collision, the twice NAT operates as follows. To initiate communication with Host-X in the public area, Host-A in the private area sends a query packet for a domain name system (DNS) address of Host-X. A domain name service-application level gateway (DNS-ALG) acquires the query packet, and translates an address for Host-x to an address (Host-X PRIME) routable in the private area, and then returns the packet to Host-A. When the DNS address resolution is finished, Host-A starts communication with Host-X PRIME. At a point of time when the packet passes the twice NAT, the source address is translated into an address that the NAT has and the destination address is translated into Host-X. Similar translation is conducted also for a response packet from Host-X. IETF RFC2694 describes operation of the DNS-ALG in detail.

This example is a technique used when a network to which a first terminal belongs and a network to which a second terminal communicating with the first terminal belongs conform to the same communication protocol. When the communication protocol differs between the networks, for example, when a network (IPv4 network) conforms to IPv4 and a network (IPv6 network) conforms to internet protocol version 6 (IPv6), the translation to interconnect the networks to each other is conducted using the known methods such as NAT-PT (IETF RFC2766), and SOCKS64 (IETF RFC3089).

In these methods, the format of the IP packet is translated between IPv4 and IPv6. For example, the address translation is conducted between IPv4 and IPv6. A system to conduct the translation will be referred to as a translator hereinbelow. For the translation, it is required to beforehand create a correspondence between IPv4 addresses and IPv6 addresses. The correspondence is kept stored in the translator. When the correspondence is dynamically created each time a communication takes place, name resolution of a domain name system (DNS) is used in an initial step of the creation.

The domain name system is a system to translate a name (character string; fully qualified domain name (FQDN)) easily understood by a human such as a uniform resource locator (URL) of the web into an IP address. An operation to translate a name into an IP address will be referred to as name resolution hereinbelow. Today, almost all applications on the internet acquire an IP address of its communicating party or partner using the domain name system.

To start communication, the network address translator and the protocol translator continuously monitor DNS messages communicated before starting the communication, using the fact described above. The translator uses a query message for name resolution as a trigger to create translation information (such as a correspondence of IP addresses). Specifically, when an IPv6 terminal conducts name resolution for a name and a response thereto is an IP address of IPv4, the IPv4 terminal translates the IPv4 address into an IPv6 address and sends the IPv6 address to the IPv6 terminal. The IPv4 terminal establishes a correspondence between the IPv4 address before translation and the IPv6 address after translation. That is, the gateway (DNS-ALG) acquires the response message of name resolution to dynamically create translation information on the basis of the information items before and after translation.

A technique to transmit voice and sound via IP networks has been enthusiastically discussed today. Voice over internet protocol (VoIP) is a technique to transmit audio information via IP networks. The protocol (VoIP) first sets a temporary speech channel path (session) between two communication units or devices. Audio data configured in an IP packet is transferred through the communication path or route thus prepared. A session control protocol is required to control operation to establish a session between the communication units, to keep the session, and to disconnect the session.

The internet engineering task force (IETF) has stipulated specifications of a session initiation protocol (SIP; IETF RFC2543) to establish and to terminate a session for IP multimedia communication. The protocol (SIP) attracts attention as a VoIP session control protocol because of its high expandability of functions.

The session initiation protocol is an application protocol using a transport mechanism such as a transmission control protocol (TCP) and a user datagram protocol (UDP). The session initiation protocol is a text-based protocol and includes a header to transport a request or a response and a message body in which the contents of the session are described. For example, a session description protocol (SDP; IETF RFC2327) is used to describe the SIP session.

The session initial protocol uses architecture of a client-server model. The source client sends a SIP request to a proxy (a SIP server) of the destination client. The SIP server conducts address resolution of the destination of communication using the domain name system (DNS) or the like to establish a session between the terminals.

The SIP server is in a proxy mode or a redirect mode according to its function. The proxy mode is a method in which a proxy server mediates a session establishing request between a source client and a destination client. The redirect mode is a method in which the source client directly connects with the destination client using information of the destination obtained from a SIP redirect server.

Description will next be given of a SIP connection procedure using a SIP server in the proxy mode. When a terminal x on an IP network initiates audio communication with a terminal y using the session initiation protocol, the terminal x sends a call setting request (INVITE) to the SIP server. The SIP server determines location information of the terminal y and sends a call setting request thereto. The terminal y sends a response indicating reception of the call. The response is sent to the terminal x via the SIP server through which the call setting request has passed. The terminal x sends an ACK request to the terminal y to confirm reception of the response. The ACK request is transferred by the SIP server or is directly sent to the terminal y. As a result, the terminal x can communicate with the terminal y. Ordinarily, a call setting request and a response thereto include information (session description) to transfer user information (an audio packet) between the terminals x and y. The session description protocol or the like is used to prepare the session description. The terminal x (y) sends the user information to a destination specified by the terminal y (x).

The session initiation protocol identifies the communicating party using a SIP uniform resource identifier (SIP URI). A SIP client resisters location information to a registrar server. For example, an IP address is set as the location information. The registrar server sends the location information to a location server. The location server keeps a correspondence between SIP URI and the location information. The registrar server and the location server may be installed in the SIP server.

According to SIP and SDP specifications, information items of a terminal and a SIP server can be specified by IP addresses.

International telecommunication uniorn-telecommunication sector (ITU-T) has standardizes the ITU-T recommendation H.323 stipulating an encoding method and a call control method to handle audio and video information on a network, for example, the internet and a local area network (LAN) on which a bandwidth is not guaranteed. The recommendation H.323 is prepared for packet-based multimedia communication systems and are applicable to the protocol (VoIP). An H.323 system mainly includes a terminal, a gateway, and a gatekeeper. The gatekeeper has an address translation function and a bandwidth management function for a terminal and a gateway to access a local area network. Messages and protocols for the call control method and a data transfer method are standardized by the ITU-T recommendations H.225 and H.245.

The recommendation H.323 identifies a terminal by an alias address. The gatekeeper manages information of correspondence between alias addresses and transport addresses. For example, an IP address is set to the transport address.

With spread of the VoIP service, the internet engineering task force and ITU-T are discussing assignment of a telephone number (E.164 number or the like) to a VoIP terminal. An ENUM domain name system (DNS) establishes a correspondence between a telephone number and a uniform resource identifier (URI; SIP URI, H.323 alias address, etc.) The system (ENUM DNS) is based on the DNS architecture and protocol and is stipulated by RFC2916. A node to issue a query to the ENUM DNS translates a telephone number into an FQDN format and sends the query to the ENUM DNS. The ENUM DNS translates information of the FQDN into a uniform resource identifier beforehand registered on the destination side.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

When address translation equipment or an address translation unit interconnects an area A to an area B and a first terminal belonging to the area A communicates with a second terminal belonging to the area B, an address translation unit through which a first packet passes manages a correspondence of addresses between the areas A and B. Therefore, after the first and second terminals start communication, any packet communicated therebetween passes through the address translation unit.

For example, after the communication is started, a route optimization request transmitted from a mobile node (MN) conforming to the mobile IPv6 to a terminal conforming to IPv4 passes through a particular address translation unit. This consequently leads to a problem. That is, when the mobile node exists in other than the home link, it is impossible to optimize the route between the mobile node and the IPv4 terminal.

In the IPv4 address system today, almost all terminals for consumers are each dynamically assigned with an IP address by an internet service provider (ISP). However, when a home address is dynamically assigned to the mobile node, there arises a problem that a packet addressed to the mobile node cannot be appropriately delivered thereto.

The IPv4 addresses are less in number than the IPv6 addresses. This results in a problem. When the number of mobile nodes to communicate with IPv4 terminals increases, the IPv4 addresses for the address translation unit to create address translation entries become insufficient.

It is therefore an object of the present invention to provide a mobile communication system in which when a terminal x belonging to an area A communicates with a terminal y belonging to an area B, route optimization can be conducted between the terminals x and y even if an address system of the area A differs from an address system of the area B.

Another object of the present invention is to provide a mobile communication system in which even if a home address is dynamically assigned to a mobile node, a packet can be delivered to the mobile node.

Another object of the present invention is to provide a mobile communication system in which when an address translation unit interconnects an area A to an area B and a terminal x belonging to the area A communicates with a terminal y belonging to the area B, the terminals x and y can communicate with each other even if the number of addresses routable in the area B is less than that of addresses in the area A.

To solve the problem, according to the present invention, at least three measures are additionally provided in the protocol translation system of the prior art as below.

(1) Each address translation unit includes a part to process a mobile IP protocol to provide a mobile communication service.

(2) A mobile node conforming to the mobile internet protocol includes a part to dynamically acquire a home address and a part to register, when the mobile node acquires a home address, the home address to the address translation unit.

(3) To uniquely identify the mobile node, a SIP identifier (SIP URI) is assigned to the mobile node, and the mobile node includes a part to register a home address to the SIP server.

(4) The address translation unit may include a part which assigns a private address as a routable address in IPv4 to the mobile node and which notifies, when the address translation unit notifies address information of the mobile node to a terminal on an IPv4 network, information of the address translation unit together with the private address assigned to the mobile node as well as a part to encapsulate and to decapsulate a packet.

Other objects, features and advantages of the invention will become apparent from the following description of the embodiments of the invention taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a diagram showing a configuration of a communication network according to a first embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 2 is a diagram showing a packet route when a mobile node conforming to the mobile IPv6 has a fixed home address.

FIG. 3 is a diagram showing a packet route when a mobile node conforming to the mobile IPv6 has not a fixed home address in the communication network according to the present invention.

FIG. 4 is a block diagram showing a configuration of an address translation unit.

FIG. 5 is a block diagram showing a configuration of a SIP server.

FIG. 6 is a diagram showing a format of an IPv4 packet.

FIG. 7 is a diagram showing a format of an IPv4 packet.

FIG. 8 is a diagram showing a format a SIP message.

FIG. 9 is a diagram showing example 1 of a SIP register message.

FIG. 10 is a diagram showing example 2 of a SIP register message.

FIG. 11 is a diagram showing an example of a router advertisement message.

FIG. 12 is a diagram showing an example of a binding update message.

FIG. 13 is a diagram showing an example of a binding acknowledgement message.

FIG. 14 is a diagram showing a format of an address query message.

FIG. 15 is a diagram showing a format of an address query response message.

FIG. 16 is a diagram showing a translation information table of the address translation unit.

FIG. 17 is a diagram showing example 1 of a SIP information management table of a SIP server.

FIG. 18 is a diagram showing example 2 of a SIP information management table of a SIP server.

FIG. 19 is a diagram showing a binding cache management table of the address translation unit.

FIG. 20 is a sequence chart showing a location registration sequence according to the present invention.

FIG. 21 is a flowchart showing a binding cache creation processing routine of the address translation unit.

FIG. 22 is sequence chart 1 showing a communication sequence between a terminal and a mobile node according to the present invention.

FIG. 23 is sequence chart 2 showing a communication sequence between a terminal and a mobile node according to the present invention.

FIG. 24 is diagram 1 showing an example of a SIP invite message.

FIG. 25 is a diagram showing an example of a SIP 302 message.

FIG. 26 is diagram 2 showing an example of a SIP invite message.

FIG. 27 is a diagram showing an example of a SIP 200 OK message.

FIG. 28 is a diagram showing an example of a configuration of a communication network in a second embodiment according to the present invention.

FIG. 29 is a block diagram showing a configuration of a gatekeeper in the second embodiment.

FIG. 30 is a sequence chart showing a location registration sequence in the second embodiment.

FIG. 31 is a block diagram showing a configuration of an address translation unit in a fourth embodiment according to the present invention.

FIG. 32 is sequence chart 1 showing a communication sequence between a terminal and a mobile node in the fourth embodiment.

FIG. 33 is sequence chart 2 showing a communication sequence between a terminal and a mobile node in the fourth embodiment.

FIG. 34 is a diagram showing an example of a SIP 200 OK message in the fourth embodiment.

FIG. 35 is sequence chart 3 showing a communication sequence between a terminal and a mobile node in the fourth embodiment.

FIG. 36 is a diagram showing an example of a SIP invite message in the fourth embodiment.

FIG. 37 is sequence chart 4 showing a communication sequence between a terminal and a mobile node in the fourth embodiment.

FIG. 38 is a sequence chart showing a communication sequence between a terminal and a mobile node in FIG. 2.

DESCRIPTION OF THE EMBODIMENTS

Referring now to the drawings, description will be given of a first embodiment according to the present invention.

Description will be given in detail of a representative example in which a mobile node (MN) conforming to the mobile IPv6 on a visited network of the mobile node starts communication with an IPv4 terminal.

FIG. 1 shows an example of a communication network in which the mobile node communicates with the IPv4 terminal according to the present invention. The communication network includes networks 7 and 8. In the embodiment, the networks 7 (7 a, 7 b) are mobile IPv6 networks and the network 8 is an IPv4 network. Address translation units (TR) 1 (1 a, 1 b) respectively interconnect the networks 7 with the network 8.

The mobile IPv6 network 7 a includes a SIP servers 5 a and a DNS server 6 a, and the mobile IPv6 network 7 b includes a SIP servers 5 b and a DNS server 6 b. A mobile node 3 is a mobile node conforming to the mobile IPv6.

The network 8 includes a SIP server 5 c, a DNS server 6 c, and a terminal 4.

The address translation unit 1 includes a mobile IPv6 message processing function, a function to conduct address translation between IPv4 and IPv6 addresses, a unit to communicate with a SIP application level gateway (SIP-ALG) 2, and a unit to communicate with a DNS application level gateway (DNS-ALG) 9.

FIG. 4 shows an example of the address translation unit 1. The unit 1 includes interface units (IF; 19 a, 19 b, . . . , 19 n) to accommodate communication lines (18 a, 18 b, . . . , 18 n), a packet transfer, a processing group 14, and a packet transfer control group 13.

The packet transfer, processing group 14 includes a distribution processing part 15, a translation information memory part 16, and a packet translation, processing part 17. The distribution processing part 15 includes a function to detect a SIP message, a DNS message, and a mobile IP message. The translation information memory part 16 includes a translation information table 500 to store information necessary for address translation. The packet translation, processing part 17 includes a function to translate a data packet.

FIG. 16 shows an example of a table configuration of the translation information table 500. The table 500 stores a correspondence between an IPv4 address 501 and an IPv6 address 502.

When an IPv4 (IPv6) packet is received, the packet translation, processing part 17 makes a search through the translation information memory part 16 to translate an IPv4 (IPv6) address into an IPv6 (IPv4) address. In the operation, the part 17 also translates various information other than the IP address.

FIG. 6 shows a format of an IPv4 packet and FIG. 7 shows a format of an IPv6 packet.

In the address translation, not only the IP address but also the format is also translated.

Returning to FIG. 4, the address translation unit 1 will be described.

The packet transfer control group 13 includes a translation entry registration processing part 11, a translation entry creation processing part 12, and a mobile IP message processing part 20.

The translation entry registration processing part 11 registers translation information to the translation information memory part 16.

The translation entry creation processing part 12 includes an address pool to translate an IPv6 (IPv4) address into a routable address on an IPv4 (IPv6) network and a function to create address translation information.

The mobile IP message processing part 20 includes a mobile IP protocol processing function, a home agent (HA) function, a binding cache management table 310, and a binding update processing routine 60.

FIG. 19 shows an example of a table layout of the binding cache management table 310. The table 310 relates a home address 311 to a C/O address 312, a lifetime 313, an HR flag 314, a proxy flag 315, a home address routing prefix length 316, a sequence number 317, a security association (BSA) 318, and a dynamic flag 319.

FIG. 5 shows a configuration example of the SIP server 5. The server 5 includes interface units (IF) 33 (33 a, 33 b) to respectively accommodate communication lines 34 (34 a, 34 b), a memory 32, a central processing unit (CPU) 1, and a bus 35 connecting the constituent components to each other.

The memory 32 stores a SIP processing part and a location information memory part 37.

The SIP processing part 36 includes a SIP protocol function and a SIP server function.

The location information memory part 37 includes a registrar server function and a location server function. The location server function of the part 37 includes a SIP information management table.

FIG. 17 shows an example of a table configuration of a SIP information management table 510 of the SIP server 5 a on the network 7 a.

FIG. 18 shows an example of a table configuration of a SIP information management table 520 of the SIP server 5 b on the network 7 b.

The table 510 (520) stores a correspondence between SIP-URI 511 (521) and location information 512 (522).

FIG. 3 shows a communication route for the terminal 4 on the network 8 to communicate with the mobile node 3 having registered its location on the network 7 b.

Referring to the sequences shown in FIGS. 20, 22, and 23, description will be given of a communication sequence for the mobile node 3 existing on the network 7 to communicate with the terminal 4 on the network in FIG. 3.

FIG. 20 shows a location registration procedure of the mobile node 3 on the network 7 b.

Assume that the mobile node 3 dynamically acquires a home address on the network 7 b. Assume also that the mobile node 3 is identified by a SIP-URI (userA@home.com) on the home network 7 a and is identified by a SIP-URI (userA%home.com@visit.com) on the visited network 7 b.

The mobile node 3 moved to the network 7 b receives a router advertisement message from the address translation unit (TR) 1 b (101).

FIG. 11 shows a format example 420 of the router advertisement message. The router advertisement message 420 is stored in a payload field 57 of the IPv6 packet format shown in FIG. 7.

When an H bit is set to the router advertisement message, the mobile node 3 regards the message as a router advertisement issued from the home agent. When an R bit is set to a prefix information option 422, the mobile node 3 registers an address contained in the prefix to an HA list as an HA address. The mobile node 3 acquires a prefix of the mobile node 3 using a prefix length of the prefix information option 422 and the address contained in the prefix to create a home address of the mobile node 3 (102).

When the H bit is not set to the router advertisement message, the mobile node 3 creates a home address of the mobile node 3 using the prefix length of the prefix information option 422 of the router advertisement and the address contained in the prefix. Next, the mobile node 3 retrieves a home agent of the mobile node 3 using a dynamic home agent discovery function.

Returning to FIG. 20, the communication sequence will be described. Having created the home address, the mobile node 3 sends a message (Binding Update) requesting registration of the home address to the address translation unit 1 b having the home agent (HA) function (103).

FIG. 12 shows a format example 430 of the binding update message. An IPv6 destination options header 431 and an IPv6 mobility header 432 are stored in an extension header 56 of the IPv6 packet format shown in FIG. 7.

The binding update message from the mobile node 3 to the address translation unit 1 b contains values as below. The home address created in step 102 is set to a source IP address 54 of the IPv6 packet header, a home address option of the IPv6 destination options header 431, and a home address of the IPv6 mobile header 432. A value more than zero is set to a lifetime field of the IPv6 mobile header 432.

Having received the binding update message, the address translation unit 1 b activates a binding cache creation processing routine 60 shown in FIG. 21.

FIG. 21 shows the routine 60 in a flowchart. In a state ready to receive the binding update message (61), the address translation unit 1 b compares the source IP address of the IPv6 packet containing the binding update message with the home address in the IPv6 destination options header and that contained in the IPv6 mobility header (62). If the source IP address is equal to the home address, the address translation unit 1 b makes a search through the binding cache management table 310 for an entry at the address (63). If the entry is absent, the translation unit 1 b examines the lifetime value in the IPv6 mobility header (64). If the value is more than zero, the translation unit 1 b adds a new entry to the binding cache management table 310 (65, 104). The translation unit 1 b sets “1” to a dynamic field 319 of the new entry. This indicates that the entry belongs to a mobile node of which the home address has been dynamically acquired. To the mobile node 3, the translation unit 1 b sends a response (Binding Acknowledgement) to the binding update message (66, 105) and terminates the routine.

FIG. 13 shows a format example 440 of the binding acknowledgement message.

In step 63, if an entry exists at the address in the binding cache management table 310 of the address translation unit 1 b, the translation unit 1 b examines the lifetime value of the IPv6 mobility header (67). If the value is zero, the translation unit 1 b deletes the entry from the table 310 (68). The translation unit 1 b sends a binding acknowledgement message to the mobile node 3 (69), deletes the proxy neighbor cache (70), and terminates the routine.

In step 67, if a valid value is set to the lifetime field, the address translation unit 1 b updates the lifetime value of the entry (77). The translation unit 1 b then sends a binding acknowledgement message to the mobile node 3 (78) and terminates the routine.

If the binding update message cannot be accepted in step 61, the translation unit 1 b sends a binding acknowledgement message including an error indication to the mobile node 3 and terminates the routine (76).

If the lifetime value is zero in step 64, the translation unit 1 b sends a binding acknowledgement message to the mobile node 3 and terminates the routine (66).

If the source IP address differs from the home address in step 62, the address translation unit 1 b searches the binding cache management table 310 for an entry at the address (71). If the entry is absent, the translation unit 1 b examines the lifetime value of the IPv6 mobility header. If the lifetime value is valid, the translation unit 1 b adds a new entry to the table 310 (72). For the new entry, the unit 1 b does not set a flag to the dynamic field. To the mobile node 3, the translation unit 1 b multicasts a response (binding acknowledgement) to the binding update message (73). To acquire a packet addressed to the home address of the mobile node 3, the translation unit 1 b sends a gratuitous neighbor advertisement message, creates a proxy neighbor cache (74), and terminate the routine.

If the entry exists in step 71 and the received message includes a valid lifetime value, the translation unit 1 b updates the lifetime value of the entry (75).

Returning to FIG. 20, the communication sequence will be described.

Having received the binding acknowledgement message, the mobile node 3 sends a SIP message (register) to the SIP server 5 b on the network 7 b to request registration of location information of the mobile node 3 (106).

FIG. 8 shows a protocol stack and a message format of SIP. A packet of SIP includes an IP header 41, a TCP/UDP header 42, and a payload 43. The payload 43 stores information of SIP. The SIP information includes a start-line field 44, a message-header field 45, and a message-body field 46. The start line 44 indicates a type and a destination of the SIP message. The message header 45 includes a SIP parameter. The message body 46 indicates information of a connection logically established between terminals. The message body is described using, for example, the protocol (SDP).

FIG. 9 shows a message example 401 of the SIP message (register) from the mobile node 3 to the SIP server 5 b. A domain name of the SIP server 5 b to conduct registration is set to a start-line field. A to-header field indicates an update objective item. A contact-header field indicates information to be registered to the registrar server. The mobile node 3 sets to the contact-header field a home address (mn6) acquired on the network 7 b.

Returning to FIG. 20, the communication sequence will be described. Having received the SIP message (register), the SIP server 5 b adds an entry 520-1 to the SIP information management table 520 (107). The entry 520-1 keeps a correspondence between the SIP-URI (userA%home.com@visit.com) of the mobile node 3 on the network 7 b and location information (userA@nm6) including the home address (mn6) created in step 102. To the mobile node 3, the SIP server 5 b sends a response message (200 OK) to the SIP message (register; 108).

The mobile node 3 then transmits an SIR message (register) to the SIP server 5 a on the home network 7 a to request registration of location information of the mobile node 3 (109).

FIG. 10 shows a message example 402 of the SIP message (register) from the mobile node 3 to the SIP server 5 a. In the SIP message 402, the SIP-URI (userA@home.com) of the mobile node 3 on the network 7 a is set to the to-header field and location information of the mobile node 3, i.e., SIP-URI (userA%home.com@visit.com) of the mobile node 3 on the network 7 b is set to the contact-header field.

Having received the SIP message (register), the SIP server 5 a adds an entry 510-1 to the SIP information management table 510 (110). To the mobile node 3, the SIP server 5 a sends a response message (200 OK) to the SIP message (register; 111).

FIGS. 22 and 23 show a procedure for the terminal 4 to transmit a packet to the mobile node 3.

To send a packet to the mobile node 3, the terminal 4 must acquire an IP address of the mobile node 3. In the example of this embodiment, the terminal 4 acquires the IP address of the mobile node 3 using a SIP message.

Assume that the SIP server 5 c is set to the terminal 4 as a destination of the SIP message.

The terminal 4 sends a SIP message (invite) to the SIP server 5 c (121). FIG. 24 shows an example of the SIP invite message 403 from the terminal 4 to the SIP server 5 c. The SIP message (invite) sets destination information of the invite message to the start-line field. The SIP URI (userA@home.com) of the mobile node 3 is set to the start-line field of the SIP message (invite; 121).

Having received the SIP message (invite), the SIP server 5 c determines the invite message destination according to destination information of the start-line field. If a domain name is set to the destination information, the SIP server 5 c sends a DNS query to the DNS server 6 c. In corporation with the gateway (DNS-ALG) 9 a and the DNS server 6 a, the DNS server 6 c resolves the name of the SIP server 5 a (122). For example, an address translation method described in JP-A-2001-274419 is used as the method of corporation of the address translation unit (TR) 1 and the gateway (DSN-ALG) 9. The gateway (DSN-ALG) 9 acquires from the address translation unit 1 a a temporary IPv4 address corresponding to the IPv6 address corresponding to the domain name of the SIP server 5 a and translates the DNS query response. The translation information table 500 of the translation information memory part 16 in the translation unit 1 a stores the translated information (123, 124).

The SIP server 5 c acquires the temporary IPv4 address of the SIP server 5 a as destination information of the SIP message (invite; 124) and sends the message to the temporary IPv4 address (125).

The address translation unit 1 a detects the SIP message (invite; 126) and sends the message to the SIP address translation unit (SIP-ALG) 2 a (127). For example, a SIP message translation method described in Japanese Patent Application Ser. No. 2001-373520 is used as the method of corporation of the address translation unit (TR) 1 and the gateway (SIP-ALG) 2 a.

From the received SIP message, the gateway (SIP-ALG) 2 a extracts parameters for IP address translation (128). To the address translation unit 1 a, the gateway 2 a sends an address query request 600 including an IP address of translation parameters (129).

FIG. 14 shows a message format of the address query request 600.

The address translation unit 1 a receives the address query request 600 and makes a search through the translation information table 500 of the translation entry creation processing part 12 using the IP address of translation parameters.

If the IP address is present in the table 500 of the processing part 12, the translation unit 1 a sends an address query request 650 including the translated IP address to the gateway 2 a (130).

If the IP address is absent from the table 500 of the processing part 12, the translation unit 1 a assigns a routable IP address on the network 7 a to the IP address of translation parameters to create a translation entry. The translation unit 1 a then activates the translation entry registration processing part 11 to set the translation entry to the translation information table 500 of the translation information memory part 16. The translation unit 1 a sends an address query request response 650 including the translated IP address to the gateway 2 a (130).

FIG. 15 shows a message format of the address query request response 650.

The gateway 2 a receives the request response 650 and translates IP address information in the SIP message (131).

Having received the SIP message (invite) from the gateway 2 a, the address translation unit 1 a translates address information of the IP header of a packet including the SIP message (invite; 133). Referring to the translation information table 500 of the translation information memory part 16, the translation unit 1 a translates a destination address into a real IPv6 address of the SIP server 5 a and a source address into a temporary IPv6 address of the SIP server 5 c.

The SIP server 5 a receives the SIP message (invite; 134) and then makes a search through the information management table 510 of the location information memory part 37 using the SIP-URI (userA@home.com) of the mobile node 3 set to the start-line field of the message. The SIP server 5 a obtains location information (userA%home.com@visit.com) of the mobile node 3 (135).

The SIP server 5 a sends a SIP message (302 Moved Temporarily) including the location information (userA%home.com@visit.com) of the mobile node 3 to the SIP server 5 c (136).

FIG. 25 shows a message example 50 of the SIP message (302 Moved Temporarily) from the server 5 a to the server 5 c. The location information (userA%home.com@visit.com) of the mobile node 3 is set to the contact header.

Returning to FIG. 22, the communication sequence will be further described. In corporation with the gateway 2 a, the address translation unit 1 a translates the IP address of the SIP message (136; 137). After having translated the address information of the IP header in a packet including the SIP message (138), the translation unit 1 a sends the SIP message to the SIP server 5 c (139).

Having received the SIP message (302 Moved Temporarily) as a response to the invite message, the SIP server 5 c sends a response acknowledgement message (ACK) to the SIP server 5 a (140). When the message (ACK) passes through the address translation unit 1 a, the unit 1 a translates the IP address of the SIP message in corporation with the gateway 2 a (141). After having translated the address information of the IP header in a packet including the SIP message (142), the translation unit 1 a sends the SIP message to the SIP server 5 a (143).

According to the contact header (userA%home.com@visit.com) of the received SIP message (302 Moved Temporarily), the SIP server 5 c determines the location information of the mobile node 3.

If a domain name has been set to the location information, the SIP server 5 c sends a DNS query to the DNS server 6 c. The DNS server 6 c resolves the name of the SIP server 5 b in corporation with a gateway (DNS-ALG) 9 b and the DNS server 6 b (151, 152). The gateway 9 b acquires from the address translation unit 1 b a temporary IPv4 address corresponding to an IPv6 address corresponding to the domain name of the SIP server 5 b and translates the DNS query response. The translation information is stored in the translation information table 500 of the translation information memory part 16 of the translation unit 1 b.

The SIP server 5 c acquires as destination information of the SIP message (invite) a temporary IPv4 address of the SIP server 5 b (153) and sends the SIP message (invite) to the temporary IPv4 address (154).

FIG. 26 shows a message example 405 of the SIP message (invite) from the server 5 c to the server 5 b. The location information (userA%home.com@visit.com) of the mobile node 3 is set to the start-line field as destination information of the message.

Returning to FIG. 23, the communication sequence will be described. When the SIP message (invite; 154) passes through the address translation unit 1 b, the unit 1 b translates the IP address contained in the SIP message in corporation with the gateway 2 b (155). Having translated address information of the IP header of a packet containing the SIP message (156), the translation unit 1 b sends the SIP message to the SIP server 5 b (157).

The SIP server 5 b makes a search through the SIP information management table 520 of the location information memory part 37 using the value (userA%home.com@visit.com) set to the star-line field of the SIP message. The SIP server 5 b acquires location information (userA@nm6) of the mobile node 3 and sends the SIP message (invite) to the mobile node 3 (158).

If the SIP message (invite) is acceptable, the mobile node 3 sends a SIP message (200 OK) as a response.

According to via-header information set to the SIP message (invite), the SIP message (200 OK) is sent to the terminal 4 via the SIP server having processed the SIP message (invite; 159, 160, 163, 164).

The SIP message (200 OK) is a normal response to the SIP message (invite).

FIG. 27 shows a message example 406 of the SIP message (200 OK) from the mobile node 3 to the SIP server 5 b. A value used as destination information by the terminal 4 to send data to the mobile node 3 is set to a c field of the message body. In the embodiment, a home address (mn6) dynamically acquired on the network 7 b by the mobile node 3 is set to the c field.

Returning to FIG. 23, the communication sequence will be further described. When the SIP message (200 OK; 160) passes through the address translation unit 1 b, the unit 1 b translates the IP address contained in the SIP message in corporation with the gateway 2 b (161).

Specifically, the gateway 2 b extracts as an IP address of translation parameters the home address (mn6) of the mobile node 3 set to the c field of the SIP message (200 OK) and transmits an address query request to the address translation unit 1 b.

The translation unit 1 b makes a search through the translation information table 500 of the translation entry creation processing part 12 using the IP address of translation parameters.

If the IP address is absent from the table 500 of the processing part 12, the address translation unit 1 b assigns a temporary IPv4 address (vmn4) to the home address (mn6) of the mobile node 3. The unit 1 b activates the translation entry registration processing part 11 to register a correspondence between the home address (mn6) of the mobile node 3 and the temporary IPv4 address (vmn4) to the translation information table 500 of the translation entry creation processing part 12.

The gateway 2 b translates the temporary IPv4 address (vmn4) for the home address of the mobile node 3 in the c field of the SIP message.

The address translation unit 1 b translates address information of the IP header in a packet containing the SIP message (162) and sends the SIP message to the SIP server 5 b.

The terminal 4 receives the SIP message (200 OK) and acquires the address (vmn4) of the mobile node 3 from the c field.

Having received the SIP message (200 OK), the terminal 4 sends a response confirmation message (ACK) to the mobile node 3 (165, 166).

When the SIP message (ACK; 166) passes through the address translation unit 1 b, the unit 1 b translates the IP address contained in the SIP message in corporation with the gateway 2 b (167). After having translated the address information of the IP header in a packet including the SIP message (168), the translation unit 1 b sends the SIP message to the SIP server 5 b (169). The server 5 b sends the SIP message (ACK) to the mobile node 3 (170).

As a result, the procedure sets a logical connection between the terminal 4 and the mobile node 3, that is, the terminal 4 and the mobile node 3 can communicate with each other.

To the mobile node 3, the terminal 4 sends a packet including the temporary IPv4 address (vmn4) as a destination address (DA) and the IPv4 address (a4) of the terminal 4 as the source address (SA) of the data packet (171).

According to the translation entry created in step 161, the address translation unit 1 b changes the destination address from the temporary IPv4 address (vmn4) to the IPv6 address (mn6). The translation unit 1 b assigns the temporary IPv6 address (va6) to the IPv4 address (a4) of the terminal 4 and updates the source address to the temporary IPv6 address (va6; 172).

The translation unit 1 b sends the packet with the updated header information to the mobile node 3 (173).

To sends a packet to the terminal 4, the mobile node 3 uses an ordinary IPv6 packet transmitting procedure.

Referring to FIGS. 2 and 38, description will be given of a flow of a packet sent from the terminal 4 to the mobile node 3 when the mobile node has a fixed home address. Assume that the address translation unit 1 a has the home agent (HA) function and the terminal identifies the mobile node 3 by a name.

FIG. 2 shows a route of a packet when the mobile node 3 has a fixed home address.

FIG. 38 shows a procedure for the terminal 4 to send a packet to the mobile node 3 in FIG. 2.

The mobile node 3 detects an event of movement from the network 7 a to the network 7 b and sends a control signal (Binding Update) to the address translation unit 1 a having the home agent function (701). The control signal includes a home address (mn6) of the mobile node 3 and a care-of (C/O) address acquired on the network 7 b.

Having received the control signal, the translation unit 1 a stores information of the mobile node 3 in the binding cache and operates as a proxy of the mobile node 3. The translation unit 1 a sends a response signal (Binding Acknowledgement; 702).

The terminal 4 resolves the name of the mobile node 3 using the DNS server 6 (703 to 707). In step 706, the translation unit 1 a assigns a temporary IPv4 address (vmn4) to the home address (mn6) of the mobile node to create a translation entry.

The terminal 4 acquires vmn4 as the home address of the mobile node 3 and sends a packet to vnm4 (708). When the packet passes through the address translation unit 1 a, the unit 1 a translates address information of the IP header in the packet from IPv4 into IPv6 (709). After the address information is translated, the temporary IPv6 address (va6) corresponding to the IPv4 address (a4) of the terminal 4 is set to the source address in the IP header and the home address (mn6) of the mobile node 3 is set to the destination address.

The address translation unit 1 a refers to the binding cache created in step 701 and acquires the care-of address (c/omn6) of the mobile node 3 from the home address (mn6) of the mobile node 3. The translation unit 1 a encapsulates the translated IPv6 packet according to IPv6 and sends the packet to the mobile node 3 (710). The care-of address (c/omn6) of the mobile node 3 is set to the destination address of the encapsulation header and an address (tra6) of the translation unit 1 a is set to the source address of the encapsulation header.

The mobile node 3 removes the encapsulation header from the received packet to obtain the original packet. The mobile node 3 makes a search through the binding update list thereof using the source address of the original packet. The temporary IPv6 address (va6) of the terminal 4 is beforehand set to the source address of the original packet.

If the pertinent entry is absent from the binding update list of the mobile node 3, the mobile node 3 sends a control signal (Binding Update) to the temporary IPv6 address (va6) of the terminal 4 (711). The control signal passes through the address translation unit 1 a. The unit 1 a stores the binding cache in place of the terminal 4. Or, the unit 1 a translates the control signal into the IPv4 format to translate the header information (712) and sends the control signal to the terminal 4 (713).

If “Binding Update” is transmitted to the terminal 4, the terminal 4 sends the packet addressed to the mobile node 3 to the temporary IPv4 address (vc/omn4) corresponding to the care-of address of the mobile node 3 (714). The packet passes through the address translation unit 1 a. The unit 1 a translates the header (715) of the packet and sends the packet to the care-of address (c/omn6) of the mobile node 3 (716).

If the address translation unit 1 a stores the binding cache in place of the terminal 4, the terminal 4 sends the packet to the mobile node 3 in a procedure similar to that of steps 708 to 710. In place of step 710, the translation unit 1 a may send the packet to the care-of address of the mobile node 3. At this point, the packet includes a routing header. The home address of the mobile node 3 is set to the routing header.

As can be seen from the description above, the control signal sent from the mobile node 3 to the terminal 4 to optimize the route and the packet sent from the terminal 4 to the mobile node 3 after the route optimization pass the address translation unit 1 a. Therefore, when the mobile node has a fixed home address, the route between the mobile node 3 and the terminal 4 cannot be optimized.

According to the first embodiment of the present invention, by using the address translation unit 1 having the mobile IP protocol processing function and the SIP server 5, a packet can be delivered to the mobile node 3 of the mobile IPv6, the node 3 not having a home address. Since the packet addressed to the mobile node 3 passes through the address translation unit 1 existing on a network on which the mobile node 3 has dynamically acquired a home address, the route of the packet to mobile node 3 can be optimized. By using SIP as the session control procedure between the mobile node 3 and the terminal 4, audio signals can be communicated between the mobile node 3 and the terminal 4.

Referring now to the drawings, description will be given of a second embodiment of the present invention.

The first and second embodiments differ from each other in the session control protocol type and the method of identifying the mobile node.

The second embodiment uses ITU-T H.323 as the session control protocol. The second embodiment identifies the mobile node by an alias address standardized in H.323.

FIG. 28 shows a configuration example of a communication network when a mobile node conforming to the mobile IPv6 communicates with an IPv4 terminal in the second embodiment.

In the second embodiment, an address translation unit 1 includes a unit to communicate with a H.323 address translation unit (H.323-ALG) 10 in place of the gateway (SIP-ALG) 2 and a unit to detect a H.323 message.

In the second embodiment, networks 7 and 8 each include a gatekeeper 30 in place of a SIP server.

The gateway (H.323-ALG) 10 includes (1) a unit to extract a translation parameter(s) address from the H.323 message, (2) a unit to send an address translation request to the address translation unit 1, (3) a unit to receive a response to the address translation request from the address translation unit 1, and (4) a unit to update the translation parameter(s) address of the H.323 message according to information received from the address translation unit 1.

FIG. 29 shows a configuration example of the gatekeeper 30. The keeper 30 includes interface units (IF; 1003 a, 1003 b) to respectively accommodate communication lines (1004 a, 1004 b), a memory 2002, a CPU 1001, and a bus 1005 to connect the constituent components to each other.

The memory 1002 stores a H.323 processing part 1006 and a location information memory part 1007.

The H.323 processing part includes a H.323 protocol function and a gatekeeper function.

The location information memory part 1007 includes a table of a correspondence between H.323 alias addresses and H.323 transport addresses. In the second embodiment, the mobile node 3 is uniquely identified by a H.323. alias address.

FIG. 30 shows a procedure for the mobile node 3 to register a location on a network 7 b in the second embodiment.

The mobile node 3 dynamically acquires a home address on the network 7 b. A procedure from step 101 to step 105 is almost the same as that of the first embodiment.

The location registration procedure varies between the second and first embodiments in the control signal used to register a location to the gatekeeper 30. In the second embodiment, the control signal to register the location is a control signal standardized in the ITU-T H.323 recommendations.

The mobile node 3 sends a control signal (Registration Request (RRQ)) to a gatekeeper (GK) 30 b to register a location (181). Having received the control signal, the gatekeeper 30 b extracts an H.323 alias address of the mobile node 3 from the control signal. The gatekeeper 30 b determines a home network 7 a of the mobile node 3 according to the H.323 alias address of the mobile node 3 and sends the control signal to a gatekeeper 30 a (182). The gatekeeper 30 b may also store the location information of the mobile node 3 in the location registration memory part 1007.

Having received the control signal for the location registration, the gatekeeper 30 a adds an entry of the H.323 alias address of the mobile node 3 to the location registration memory part 1007 and stores information of a correspondence between the H.323 alias address and the H.323 transport address of the mobile node 3 (183). The gatekeeper 30 a stores a home address dynamically assigned to the mobile node in a H.323 transport address field.

The gatekeeper 30 a sends a response (Registration Confirmation (RCF)) to the control signal requesting the location registration via the gatekeeper 30 b to the mobile node 3 (184, 185).

In the second embodiment, a procedure for a terminal 4 to send a packet to a terminal 3 is basically the same as that of the first embodiment excepting that the SIP message is replaced with the H.323 message.

According to the second embodiment of the present invention, by using an address translation unit having the mobile IP protocol processing function and a gatekeeper, a packet can be delivered to a mobile node 3 conforming to the mobile IPv6, the node 3 not having a home address. Since a packet addressed to the mobile node 3 passes an address translation unit existing on a network on which the mobile node 3 has dynamically acquired a home address, the route of the packet to the mobile node 3 can be optimized. By using H.323 as the session control procedure between the mobile node 3 and the terminal 4, audio signals can be communicated therebetween.

Description will now be given of a third embodiment of the present invention. In this embodiment, a telephone number is assigned to a mobile IPv6 terminal (mobile node (MN)) on the network shown in the first or second embodiment.

In the third embodiment, the networks 7 and 8 each adopt ENUM DNS. The ENUM DNS manages information of a correspondence between telephone numbers and uniform resource identifiers (SIP-URI, H.323 alias addresses, and the like).

To send a packet to the mobile node 3, the terminal 4 specifies the mobile node 3 by a telephone number. The terminal 4 issues a query to the ENUM DNS for a uniform resource identifier (URI) of the mobile node 3. After the URI of the mobile node 3 is acquired, the terminal 4 executes processing similar to the processing of the first or second embodiment.

According to the third embodiment of the present invention, if a terminal specifies its communication party by a telephone number and translates the telephone number into a uniform resource identifier, it is possible to deliver a packet to a mobile IPv6 terminal not having a home address.

Description will now be given of a fourth embodiment of the present invention by referring to the drawings.

The fourth embodiment has a feature of a packet encapsulation unit in the IP address translation unit 1.

FIG. 31 shows a configuration example of the address translation unit 1 of the fourth embodiment.

In the configuration, a packet transfer processing group 14 includes an encapsulation, decapsulation processing part 21 in addition to the constituent blocks or parts of the address translation unit 1 of the first embodiment.

The encapsulation, decapsulation processing part 21 of the translation unit 1 includes a function to receive an encapsulated packet from a terminal on the network 8 to remove an encapsulation header therefrom (decapsulation) and a function to add a header to a packet (encapsulation) to be sent to a terminal on the network 8.

The translation entry creation processing part 12 of the embodiment has an IPv4 private address as a temporary address to be assigned to an IPv6 address.

FIGS. 32 and 33 show a procedure for the terminal 4 on the network 8 to communicate with the mobile node 3 on the network 7 b in the fourth embodiment.

Assume that the mobile node 3 dynamically acquires a home address on the network 7 b and registers a location in a procedure of FIG. 20 for the first embodiment.

The communication procedure of the fourth embodiment is the same as that of the first embodiment up to step 160. Processing varies therebetween in the processing of step 161 and subsequent steps.

Referring now to FIG. 33, description will be given of the procedure beginning at step 160.

The address translation unit 1 b detects a SIP message (200 OK) sent from the SIP server 5 b to the SIP server 5 c (160) and sends the message to the gateway (SIP-ALG) 2 b (201).

The gateway 2 b extracts as a translation parameter(s) IP address a home address (mn6) of the mobile node 3 set to the c field of the SIP message (200 OK). The gateway 2 b sends an address query request including the translation parameter(s) IP address to the address translation unit 1 b (202).

The translation unit 1 b makes a search through the translation information table 500 of the translation entry creation processing part 12 using the translation parameter(s) IP address (mn6).

If the IP address is absent from the table 500 of the processing part 12, the translation unit 1 b assigns a temporary IPv4 private address (vpmn4) to the home address (mn6) of the mobile node 3. The translation unit 1 b activates the translation entry registration part 11 to set a translation entry, namely, a correspondence between the home address (mn6) and the temporary IPv4 private address (vpmn4) of the mobile node 3 to the table 500 of the processing part 12 (203).

The address translation unit 1 b sends an address query request response 650 including the home address (mn6) and the temporary IPv4 private address (vpmn4; 204). A value indicating the IPv4 private address is set to an IP address type (response) field 623 of the response 650.

The gateway (SIP-ALG) 2 b updates the IP address information in the SIP message. If the field 623 of the response 650 contains the IPv4 private address, the gateway 2 b translates the translation parameter(s) IP address (mn6) into an IP address (vpmn4) after translation and an IPv4 global address (trbg4) assigned to the IPv4 interface of the translation unit 1 b.

Having received a SIP message (200 OK) from the gateway 2 b (205), the translation unit 1 b translates address information of the IP header of a packet containing the SIP message (206). Referring to the translation information table 500 of the translation information memory part 16, the translation unit 1 b translates the destination address into a real IPv4 address of the SIP server 5 c and the source address into a temporary IPv4 address of the SIP server 5 b.

FIG. 34 shows a message example 407 of the SIP message (200 OK) from the address translation unit 1 b to the SIP server 5 c. The temporary IPv4 address of the mobile node 3 and the IPv4 global address (trbg4) of the translation unit 1 b are set to the contact header field and the c field.

Having received the SIP message (200 OK), the SIP server 5 c (207) sends the message to the terminal 4 (208).

The terminal 4 receives the SIP message (200 OK) and acquires the address (vpmn4) of the mobile node 3 and the IPv4 global address (trbg4) of the translation unit 1 b from the c field.

The terminal 4 sends a response confirmation message (ACK) via the SIP server 5 c to the SIP server 5 b (209, 210). When the SIP message (ACK) passes through the address translation unit 1 b, the unit 1 b translates the IP address in the SIP message in corporation with the gateway 2 b (211). After having translated address information of the IP header in a packet containing the SIP message (212), the translation unit 1 b sends the SIP message (ACK) to the SIP server 5 b (213). The SIP server 5 b then sends the SIP message (ACK) to the mobile node 3 (214).

Through the procedure, a logical connection is established between the terminal 4 and the mobile node 3, and hence the terminal 4 and the mobile node 3 can communicate with each other.

To sends a data packet to the mobile node 3, the terminal 4 sets the temporary IPv4 private address (vpmn4) corresponding to the home address of the mobile node 3 to the destination address in the IP packet header and the IPv4 address (a4) of the terminal 4 to the source address. The terminal 4 then encapsulates the original packet according to IPv4. T terminal 4 sets the IPv4 global address (trbg4) of the address translation unit 1 b to the destination address of the encapsulation header and the IPv4 address (a4) of the terminal 4 to the source address (215) of the encapsulation header.

Having received the encapsulated packet, the translation unit 1 b deletes the encapsulation header by the encapsulation, decapsulation processing part 21 to extract the original packet (216).

Referring to the translation information table 500 of the translation information memory part 16, the translation unit 1 b translates the IP header of the original packet (217). The unit 1 b changes the source IP address from the IPv4 address (a4) of the terminal 4 to the temporary IPv6 address (va6) and the temporary IPv4 private address (vpmn4) of the mobile node 3 to the IPv6 address (mn6).

The address translation unit 1 b sends the packet containing translated header information to the mobile node 3 (218).

Description will now be given of a procedure of transmitting a packet from the mobile node 3 on the network 7 b to the terminal 4 on the network 8 in the fourth embodiment.

FIG. 35 shows a packet translation procedure when the mobile node 3 identifies the terminal 4 by a SIP uniform resource identifier (URI). Assume that a correspondence of location information between the terminal 4 and the SIP URI is beforehand registered to the SIP server 5 c.

Assume that the mobile node dynamically 3 acquires a home address on the network 7 b and registers a location according to the procedure shown in FIG. 20 for the first embodiment. The mobile node 3 thus acquired the home address on the network 7 b recognizes that he address translation unit 1 b is a home agent thereof and the mobile node 3 exists on the home link.

According to the mobile IPv6 specifications, a mobile node existing on the home link transfers a packet by the ordinary IPv6 routing. Therefore, the mobile node 3 can transfer a packet to the terminal 4 using the ordinary IPv6 routing.

To acquire an IP address using the SIP URI of the terminal 4, the mobile node 3 sends a SIP message (invite) to the SIP server 5 b (251). The SIP URI of the terminal 4 is set as destination information of the invite message to the start-line field of the SIP message 251.

The SIP server 5 b sends the SIP message (invite) to the SIP server 5 c (252).

The address translation unit 1 b detects the SIP message (invite) sent from the SIP server 5 b to the SIP server 5 c and transmits the message to the gateway (SIP-ALG) 2 b (253).

The gateway 2 b extracts the translation parameter(s) IP address from the SIP message (invite) and sends an address query request 600 including the translation parameter(s) IP address to the address translation unit 1 b (254).

The unit 1 b makes a search through the translation information table 500 of the translation entry creation processing part 12 using the translation parameter(s) IP address.

If the IP address is absent from the table 500 of the processing part 12, the translation unit 1 b creates a translation entry. The unit 1 b assigns an IPv4 private address as a temporary IPv4 address corresponding to the IPv6 address. The unit 1 b sets the translation entry to the table 500 of the translation information memory part 16 (255).

The address translation unit 1 b sends an address query request response 650 to the gateway 2 b (256). A value indicating the IPv4 private address is set to the IP address type (response) field 623 of the response 650.

The gateway 2 b translates IP address information in the SIP message. The gateway 2 b translates the translation parameter(s) IP address into an IP address (IPv4 private address) after translation and an IPv4 global address assigned to the IPv4 interface of the translation unit 1 b.

Having received the SIP message (invite) from the gateway 2 b (257), the translation unit 1 b translates address information of the IP header of a packet containing the SIP message (258). Referring to the table 500 of the translation information memory part 16, the translation unit 1 b translates the destination address into the real IPv4 address of the SIP server 5 c and the source address into the temporary IPv4 address of the SIP server 5 b.

FIG. 36 shows a message example 408 of the SIP message (invite) from the address translation unit 1 b to the SIP server 5 c.

The temporary IPv4 address (vpmn4) and the IPv4 global address (trbg4) are set to a via header, a call-ID header, a contact header field, and a c field.

The SIP server 5 c receives the SIP message (invite; 259), determines the location of the terminal 4, and sends the message to the terminal 4 (260).

If the SIP message (invite) is acceptable, the terminal 4 sends a SIP message (200 OK) as a response.

The terminal 4 acquires the address (vpmn4) of the mobile node 3 and the IPv4 global address (trbg4) of the address translation unit 1 b from the c field of the message (invite) to use the information to send a packet to the mobile node 3. The address vpmn4 is a temporary IPv4 private address corresponding to the home address (mn6) dynamically assigned to the mobile node 3.

The SIP message (200 OK) is sent to the mobile node 3 via the server having processed the SIP message (invite; 261-266).

The mobile node 3 acquires the temporary IPv6 address (va6) of the terminal 4 from the parameters of the SIP message (200 OK).

Having received the SIP message (200 OK), the mobile node 3 sends a response confirmation message (ACK) to the terminal 4 (267-272).

The procedure resultantly sets a logical connection between the mobile node 3 and the terminal 4, that is, the mobile node 3 and the terminal 4 can communicate with each other.

To send a data packet to the terminal 4, the mobile node 3 sets the temporary IPv6 address (va6) to the destination address. To the source address, the mobile node 3 sets the home address (mn6) dynamically set to the mobile node 3 (273).

Having received the packet addressed to the temporary IPv6 address (va6) of the terminal 4, the address translation unit 1 b refers to the translation entry to translate information of the header (274). The translation unit 1 b sets the IPv4 address (a4) of the terminal 4 to the destination address and the temporary IPv4 private address (vpmn4) of the mobile node 3 to the source address.

Before transferring the data packet to the IPv4 network, the translation unit 1 b of the fourth embodiment encapsulates the packet with the translated IP header according to IPv4 (275). The unit 1 b sets the IPv4 address (a4) of the terminal 4 to the destination address of the encapsulation header and the IPv4 global address (trbg4) of the unit 1 b to the source address of the encapsulation header (276).

Having received the encapsulated data packet, the terminal 4 decapsulates the packet to process the original packet.

FIG. 37 shows a packet transmitting procedure when the mobile node 3 identifies the terminal 4 by a fully qualified domain name (FQDN).

The mobile node 3 sends a DNS query request including the FQDN of the terminal 4 to the DNS server 6 b (281). The DNS server 6 b resolves the name of the terminal 4 in corporation with the gateway (DNS-ALG) 9 b and the DNS server 6 c (282-284, 288).

Using translation information of the translation unit 1 b, the gateway 9 b translates the IPv4 address (a4) for the FQDN of the terminal 4 into the temporary IPv6 address (va6; 285-287). The translation information is stored in the translation information table 500 of the translation information memory part 16 of the translation unit 1 b.

The mobile node 3 acquires the temporary IPv6 address (va6) as the IP address of the terminal 4 (289).

The mobile node 3 sends a packet to the terminal 4 (290). The mobile node 3 sets the temporary IPv6 address (va6) of the terminal 4 to the destination address of the packet to the terminal 4 and the home address (mn6) dynamically assigned to the mobile node 3 to the source address of the packet.

Having received the packet transmitted to the temporary IPv6 address (va6) of the terminal 4, the address translation unit 1 b translates information of the header according to the translation entry (291). The unit 1 b sets the IPv4 address (a4) of the terminal 4 to the destination address. The translation unit 1 b assigns an IPv4 private address (vpmn4) as the temporary IPv4 address corresponding to the source address (mn6) and stores the address in the translation information table 500 of the translation information memory part 16.

Before transferring the data packet to the IPv4 network, the translation unit 1 b of the fourth embodiment encapsulates the packet with the translated IP header according to IPv4 (292). The unit 1 b sets the IPv4 address (a4) of the terminal 4 to the destination address of the encapsulation header and the IPv4 global address (trbg4) of the unit 1 b to the source address of the encapsulation header (293).

Having received the encapsulated data packet, the terminal 4 decapsulates the packet to process the original packet.

In the fourth embodiment of the present invention, the address translation unit 1 includes (1) the IPv4 private address pool, (2) the unit to encapsulate by the IPv4 header the packet addressed to the IPv4 network, and (3) the unit to notify the address of the translation unit 1 to a node existing on the IPv4 network.

Therefore, the translation unit 1 can set an IPv4 private address as a temporary IPv4 address corresponding to an IPv6 node. Even the number of mobile nodes of the mobile IPv6 to communicate with the IPv4 terminal increases, the address translation unit can create a translation entry for the translation from an IPv6 address to an IPv4 address. This removes the problem of insufficient temporary IPv4 addresses of the address translation unit in the IPv6-IPv4 address translation.

Description will now be given of a fifth embodiment of the present invention. According to this embodiment, in the communication network shown in the first to fourth embodiments, when the address translation unit 1 receives a control signal or message (Binding Update) requesting registration of a location from the mobile IPv6 terminal (MN) 3 having a home address acquired in advance, the translation unit 1 creates a translation entry in the translation information table 500 of the translation unit 1.

The fifth embodiment differs from the first to fourth embodiments in an event for the mobile node 3 to create the translation entry.

As can be seen from the embodiments of the present invention, the address translation unit 1 includes a function to process the mobile IPv6 protocol and the mobile node (MN) 3 conforming to the mobile IPv6 includes a function to dynamically acquire a home address and a function to register a location to the SIP server. When a SIP identifier is assigned to the mobile node 3 and a correspondence between the SIP identifier of the mobile node 3 and the home address dynamically acquired is registered to the SIP server, a packet can be delivered to the mobile node 3 not having a home address.

The packet addressed to the mobile node 3 passes through the address translation unit 1 existing on the network on which the mobile node 3 has dynamically acquired the home address. In communication between a mobile node 3 and a terminal 4 existing in mutually different regions or domains, the route of the packet from the terminal 4 to the mobile node 3 can be optimized. By using the session control procedure between the mobile node 3 and the terminal 4, audio signals can also be communicated therebetween.

The address translation unit 1 includes an IPv4 private address pool, a unit to encapsulate by the IPv4 a packet addressed to an IPv4 network, a unit to decapsulate an encapsulated packet received from the IPv4 network, a unit to notify the address of the translation unit 1 to a node existing on the IPv4 network. The translation unit 1 assigns an IPv4 private address as a temporary IPv4 address corresponding to an IPv6 node. This enlarges the address pool of the temporary IPv4 addresses to be assigned to mobile nodes 3 by the translation unit 1. Therefore, the communication service can be provided even when the number of mobile nodes 3 to communicate with terminals in regions other than those of the mobile node 3 is increased.

It should be further understood by those skilled in the art that although the foregoing description has been made on embodiments of the invention, the invention is not limited thereto and various changes and modifications may be made without departing from the spirit of the invention and the scope of the appended claims.

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Classifications
U.S. Classification709/246, 370/338, 709/249, 709/230, 709/238
International ClassificationH04L12/66, H04L12/46, H04L29/12, G06F15/16, G06F15/173, H04L29/08, H04L29/06, H04W8/08, H04W80/04
Cooperative ClassificationH04L65/1006, H04L29/06027, H04W8/082, H04W80/045, H04L29/12556, H04L65/1009, H04L67/04, H04L69/22, H04L69/167, H04L69/16, H04L69/161, H04L61/2585, H04L65/1069
European ClassificationH04L29/06J3, H04L29/06J15, H04L61/25A8G, H04L29/06C2, H04L29/06N, H04L29/08N3, H04L29/06M2H2, H04L29/06M2H4, H04L29/06M2S1, H04L29/12A4A8G, H04W8/08B
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